More Powerful Quick-Start Characters

I was tinkering with the GURPS Quick-Start Character Creation system I posted a while back, and added a few tweaks for more powerful characters.


As mentioned in the original article, the system can easily be modified by changing the underlying assumptions. It’s great as written for creating PCs of a certain power level, let’s call it “Notable,” but the math is too restrictive for emulating characters of higher point values.

To remedy this, I changed the original section entitled “Concept and Attributes” just a bit (to introduce the idea of adding a set number of points to the attributes, instead of automatically dictating the scores):

Concept and Attributes: PCs are assumed to have a default 10 for all attributes unless it is specifically changed. The player writes down a name, brief description, and then chooses one of the three options below to describe his character, which the GM uses to assign 6 additional points to the four basic attributes (to maximum of 5 points in any one attribute, i.e., no higher than 15).

The possible values for the blanks below are “Strong” (ST), “Dextrous” (DX), “Sharp” (IQ), and “Tough” (HT) (again, the GM should change to whatever fits better for the particular game).

“I am super ________ and slightly ________, but otherwise average.” (e.g., “One 15, one 11, and three 10s”)

“I am very ________ and very ________, but otherwise average.” (e.g., “Two 13s, two 10s”)

“I am reasonably ________ and ________, and almost as ________ and ________.” (e.g., “Two 12s, two 11s”)

So, “I am very Strong and very Smart, but otherwise average,” is probably ST 13, DX 10, IQ 13, HT 10. “I am super Dextrous, but otherwise average,” might be ST 10, DX 15, IQ 10, HT 11. And so on.

Secondary characteristics like Hit Points, Perception, Will, and Fatigue Points are left equal to the attribute they normally derive from (ST for Hit Points, IQ for Perception and Will, HT for Fatigue Points, etc).”

This, in turn, paves the way for the following table. The “Notable” column is the system from the original post, the “Heroic” and “Epic” levels are more powerful versions achieved by fiddling with the math:


The biggest difference is the “Heroic” and “Epic” levels have more attribute points to spend. The relative levels of the skills allowed remain the same (since the underlying attributes will probably be higher), but the number of skills increases.

This small change should make the system even more useful, allowing GMs to spit out pre-gens and other characters for a much broader range of power levels. Here are updated character sheets for each of the three levels:

And, here are examples of each level using the character Conan at different stages of his adventuring career:

Now, are these fully fleshed out, campaign-ready PCs like you would get from the normal character creation in GURPS Basic Set? Not by a long shot. On the other hand, it took me 20 minutes to make all three, and each one is absolutely playable for a quick one-shot game.

I’ll post more examples as they come up. Anyone else tried this system for making quickie pre-gens? I’d love to hear how it went!


  1. The Conan examples are currently linking back to the blank sheets, which I assume is in error. Would love to see the correct ones. This is a fantastic blog, BTW. It actually somewhat got me involved in GURPS (combat examples).

    • Hiya, Vic! Thanks, always nice to hear I’m not just throwing things into the wind 🙂

      I can’t figure out the issue with the links, I’m not getting blank sheets with either Chrome or Firefox. If you hover over the first three links, the download numbers should be 1752, 1753, and 1754 for the blank sheets, and 1758, 1759, and 1760 for the Conan sheets?

      Anyone else having the same problem?

      (Can also try getting them straight off the bottom of the downloads page.)

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